Quaker Meetings are not hotbeds of the competitive instinct and in most Meeting Houses you will probably find a poster depicting two donkeys tethered to each other, straining in opposite directions to reach bundles of hay. In the second frame, the animals have realised the futility of their actions and are standing side by side munching contentedly from the same manger. 'Co-operation is better than conflict' is the caption.
New Year is a chronological convenience and the Gregorian division of times and seasons is by no means universal, says Jill Segger. But that doesn't mean that it should be passed up as an opportunity for real change.
An estimated 1.5 million people welcomed in 2010 around Sydney harbour, in what organisers call the biggest New Year's Eve show in the world - but one where great efforts had been made to emphasise green values.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the spiritual leader of the Roman catholic Church in England and Wales, has used his New Year message to stress the importance of marriage and what are thought of as "traditional family values".